From Instagram Shopping, Instagram Live to adorable stickers on Instagram Stories - when has Instagram ever failed to impress us?
Right now, it’s a known fact that Instagram has become one of the most popular social media sites out there for many, and now businesses even. Thanks to their technological enhancements, it has become even more convenient to use for businesses.
The world is struggling to remain resilient during these tough times brought about by COVID-19, and Instagram is trying to make things easier for both persons and brands. The social media company makes updates almost every week, with the recent ones specifically targeting those in distress by the current pandemic as well!
Here are six new Instagram features to help businesses during COVID-19.
The latest features were included during April and May 2020.
Since the closure of physical stores, Instagram has continued to provide alternatives for local businesses to keep on running - which includes the addition of gift cards, food delivery, and donation stickers.
The main aim of this update is to enable businesses to put stickers in their Instagram stories, which direct users to the website, where they can make their order for food delivery.
Meanwhile, the donation sticker is an entirely different type of feature exclusively meant for nonprofit organisations to raise awareness of their fundraising campaigns. And this isn't limited to the business itself - followers and supporters of the movement can share the stickers on their own stories as well.
Addition of CTAs to business profiles
Food delivery, gift cards, and donation options aren't only available in the form of stickers - clickable buttons can be seen on the Instagram profile!
These buttons show next to the message and contact tabs, and when a user clicks on one of them, he or she will be directed to the selected platform to finish the purchase process.
Desktop DM (Direct Messages) feature
Now you can access direct messages from clients through the desktop provision of Instagram. Hooray, indeed.
This makes it easier to type new messages and reply to current ones. It is especially useful if you’re in the PR (Public Relations) sector - seeing that you’ll have to stay in contact with influencers to promote a brand.
Besides, you can simply copy-paste messages to clients easily at the comfort of your desktop, rather than tediously through the mobile app, as it was initially.
Turning business profiles into Instagram shops
The new Shops feature on Instagram has been introduced to help businesses that are trying to sell online.
Just like Product Tagging and Instagram checkout - the feature transforms business accounts into online shops; which has proven to be a positive game-changer in the e-commerce industry.
However, not just anyone or specifically, any Instagram profile can become an Instagram shop instantly. One must be verified by Instagram themselves to be eligible.
Here’s a list of the criteria which have to be fulfilled:
- Situated in a supported market
- Sells mainly physical products
- Adheres to the Merchant agreement and Commerce policies
With such a feature, smaller brands and online businesses can promote their business easily and streamline the shopping process for customers.
Guides feature to help you discover recommendations easier
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if information discovered from your favourite accounts or Instagram, in general, is reliable.
Before, we had hashtags. And while it’s still here on Instagram, and will never cease to disappear - it isn’t always the most effective recommendation tool out there. Hence, Instagram has stepped in to resolve this issue with the all-new Guides feature.
For now, the Guides feature mostly applies to wellness content and accounts. But in time to come, you’ll soon see all sorts of tips and recommendations from public figures, creators, publishers, and organisations on the social media platform.
Who knows? An enticing instructional video may even catch your eye, and you may have a new hobby on the way during this pandemic!
Supporting small businesses stickers
Many businesses are facing difficulties during these hard times, and a number of them would definitely be small businesses.
That’s when Instagram has taken notice of this matter and introduced a way to support these businesses; through the Support Small Business sticker!
Users can share businesses on their feed and stories, which helps to gain traction and awareness for the particular Instagram account. This helps to get more followers, hence, potential prospects.
Besides, it is also a great way for businesses to serve a wider market better.
Without a doubt, Instagram's features are certainly making an impact and helping many businesses out there. But these features shouldn't be the only thing your business will touch on for marketing - social media video production may prove to help gain better brand presence! So, let us join our hands and brave the storm together with marketing.